May I have this Dance? | Teen Ink

May I have this Dance?

March 23, 2022
By Samhradh GOLD, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Samhradh GOLD, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
18 articles 2 photos 61 comments

Favorite Quote:
Dá fhada an lá tagann an tráthnóna.

(No matter how long the day, evening comes)

May I have this Dance?

I’m a people pleaser

milestone achiever

heavy door holder

and I’m also

goddamn compliant.


I’m a girl at a ball,

swaying how I please

to the thumps and swoons

of the music.


My skirts swirling

and cascading

around me.


My hips rolling

and my lips forming

a smile for no one

but myself.



I am approached

by a young gentlemen.

His grating voice

shaking me

out of my stupor.

May I have this dance?


He reaches for my waist

first with his eyes

and then with his hands.

I feel cold and hot at the same time

as my body marionettes

around the dance floor.


As I kick my feet in time

to the music

I kick myself.


why must I let others walk over me?

I’d still be a lady

if I respectfully declined.

Wouldn’t I?


As the music fades

he releases me from

his grasp.

My next move then

I cannot explain.


Instead of walking away

with my dignity intact,

I groveled.

I smiled at him and

thanked him for the dance.


Only then did I walk


with my tail between

my legs.


I can see my friends


Smiling at me,

while I sneer at myself.


I run to the powder room

and stare at myself

in the mirror.

This cordial girl

with skin like snow

and hair like autumn leaves

cannot be me.


Those placating teeth

and soothing vocal


cannot belong to me.


Who have I become?


And yet

amidst the chaos

I find myself.

A wild glimmer

In those dark, deep eyes

A spark of my once

free self

Finally found.

The author's comments:

Personal boundaries are important. It is no small feat to be able to enforce to someone how you feel.

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